Espresso Book Machines Offer Self-Publishing Authors a Jolt in Sales

Oh, the publishing industry has come such a long way since the days of minimum advance orders, massive preprinting and prohibitive upfront production costs. Technology has not only given digital readers the gift of instant downloads, but now has given hard copy traditionalists the ability to choose a book digitally and have it in hand in the time it takes to press a few buttons on a vending machine.

In fact, the Espresso Book Machine® (EBM), as the name implies, is essentially a vending machine for literature. Just as an espresso maker both makes and vends a piping-hot beverage on demand, the EBM produces a paperback copy of your selection on the spot. The buyer selects a title and the EBM instantly prints the selection, complete with a full-color cover, that is indistinguishable from a preprinted paperback plucked from a bookshelf. The machine even cuts the book to the proper size for that title!

All that in three or four minutes. You can’t even make a latte that fast.

It’s understandable why so much excitement is brewing over this technology. Booksellers and libraries, wise to many readers’ undying love for both tangible reads and instant gratification, are keen to offer as many new releases as possible, even when shelf space is hard to come by. Naturally, authors are drinking it up, as well; any gadget that serves up their books without requiring huge advance printing and shipment costs is a sweet deal. Authors only pay a small preprint cost and receive the full retail price, minus a consignment fee.

Espresso Book Machines are already working overtime in libraries and universities all over the world, including but not limited to:

  • New York Public Library
  • University of Michigan Library
  • New Orleans Public Library
  • San Francisco Internet Archive
  • University of Michigan Library
  • Manchester Center Northshire Bookstore
  • University of Alberta
  • McMaster University Bookstore
  • London Newsstand UK
  • Library of Alexandria, Egypt
  • Melbourne, Australia Angus & Robertson Bookstore

More vending locations are being added all the time. Self-publishing giant Outskirts Press has added the Espresso Book Machine as an affordable distribution option for its authors, and it’s a smart addition to any book marketing plan. The small set-up fee makes the book available at all of the EBM locations and automatically uploads your title to new machines as they’re added to the EBM network, at no extra charge.

Combine an EBM edition with Amazon book listing, and iPad, NOOK and Kindle editions to maximize access to your book and make it easier for readers to make the decision to buy. Of course, you can still keep your car’s trunk stocked with your latest book just in case, but the Espresso Book Machine can help you lessen the load when preprinting isn’t possible.

Elise works as the Manager of Author Support of Outskirts Press.  She also contributes to the Outskirts Press blog at Elise and a group of talented book marketing experts assist not only published Outskirts Press authors, but also all authors and professionals who are interested in getting the best possible exposure for their book.

5 Ways to Promote Your Book in May

May is almost here, so it’s time to start thinking about the opportunities this new month brings for you to promote your book.  Here are five ideas for promoting a book in May:

  1. Mother’s Day is May 8th.  If your book is about parenting, motherhood, family or a related topic, now is a good time to promote your book as a Mother’s Day gift idea.
  2. If you only have a hard copy format of your book, consider adding an ebook, Kindle, Nook  and/or Apple (iBook) edition. Additional formats help increase the exposure for your book.
  3. The Book Expo America (BEA) is taking place May 26th – 28th.  Even if you can’t make it to New York to attend the book fair this year, get involved in online discussions about the events.  Keep yourself informed about what’s going on and the major topics being discussed in the industry.
  4. Memorial Day is May 30th.  How can you promote your book for Memorial Day?  Don’t…well, not directly.  While you’re relaxing with your family and enjoying some time off, read a book.  When you’re done, write a review for that book on Amazon.  Make sure your Amazon account includes a bio mentioning your book and a link to your website or blog.
  5. Plan ahead for summer.  With school letting out and many people taking advantage of the weather for much needed vacation time, you may be tempted to put your book marketing efforts on hold.  Because your book marketing efforts are so important to the success of your book sales, set goals for yourself now to keep yourself on task over the summer months.  Plan to do something to promote your book every day, each week or each month.

DISCUSSION: How are you planning to promote YOUR book in May?

Kelly Schuknecht works as the Director of Author Support for Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at